AfriGeneas News & Announcements
November 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Melvin Collier's Family Reunion Site Receives Black Web Award

Melvin Collier's
Reed & Puryear Family Reunion site has won the Black Web Award for Best Family Reunion Site for 2007.

The Black Web Awards annually celebrate and recognize African, African American and Caribbean excellence online. This year, over 118,000 votes helped determine the winners in each category. Announcement of the winners can be found on the awards website,

Posted by Staff on 11/19/06 at 10:07 am EST

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Herb Beckford Joins AfriGeneas as Coordinator of Arizona State Resources

Herb Beckford has been named the Coordinator of AfriGeneas'
Arizona State Resources site.

Originally from New York, Herb served in the Navy in the Phillipines before embarking on careers as an insurance investigator and as an adjustor.

He became interested in genealogy to find out more about his Jamaican-Puerto Rican heritage on his father's side and his North Carolina roots on his mother's side. While researching his mother's family, he discovered that her ancestor Louis O. Summersett, born 1878 in Tatoms, Columbus, North Carolina, attended Shaw University and manufactured a line of cosmetics out of a three-story brick building located at North 46th Street in Philadelphia, PA. His hair pomade, in a green can with Herb's grandmother Mary pictured, was known as Summersett Olive Oil Pomade.

Herb who just turned 82 in June will be ably assisted by members of the Black Family Genealogy & History Society in Phoenix, AZ. He currently serves as their Treasurer.

Posted by Staff on 11/05/06 at 2:49 am EST

National Archives Honors Archivist and Historian Walter B. Hill Jr.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein has honored Walter B. Hill Jr., a longtime archivist and historian at the National Archives and a leading authority on the documentation of African Americans in Federal records, for his efforts to make such records accessible and to promote their use by historians, journalists, students and others.

Weinstein commended Hill "for extraordinary service in making available to the American public the diversity of archival records at the National Archives." Both Weinstein and Michael Kurtz, assistant archivist for Records Services, presented Hill with a "Certificate of Appreciation" on Oct. 10. "Walter Hill's many years of dedicated service as an archivist have greatly enhanced the use of National Archives holdings that illuminate the African American experience," said Weinstein. "For his work Walter has gained the deep respect and appreciation of his colleagues and scholars everywhere."

Read the rest of the story . . .

Source: U.S. Newswire

Posted by Staff on 11/05/06 at 2:25 am EST

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Barbara Dodson Walker Named a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association

Barbara Dodson Walker, President Emerita of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society has been named a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. Carol Smith, UGA President made the announcement at the AAHGS sharing banquet during their annual conference in Salt Lake City Oct 27th.

Thomas Jay Kemp, member of the UGA Board of Directors and long time friend of Barbara Walker flew out from Connecticut to present the award. The citation he read said in part:

It was once written by Stephen Grellett (1773-1855), �I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show �, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.�

We of the Utah Genealogical Association have such an opportunity with the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society holding its annual conference here in Salt Lake City. We of the UGA do not want to miss this opportunity to honor one of the nation�s most loved and respected genealogists.

Read the rest of the story . . .

Source: Genealogy Blog

Posted by Staff on 11/04/06 at 4:26 am EST

Friday, November 03, 2006

IN MEMORIAM: Sylvia Polk-Burriss, Nov 27, 1953 - Oct 26, 2006

The AfriGeneas Family mourns the loss of our friend and colleague, Sylvia Polk-Burriss. Among her many accomplishments and contributions to the genealogical community, Sylvia was the long-time editor of the AAHGS Journal, the journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. She will be missed.

Mrs. Sylvia Jean Polk - Burriss

Batavia - Mrs. Sylvia Jean Polk - Burriss, 52, of Batavia , an executive administrative assistant at Jeri Davis International in Tennessee , died Thursday, October 26, 2006 at her home.

She was born November 27, 1953 in Glade Springs , VA , a daughter of Albert Polk of Batavia and the late Peggy Jean (Smith) Polk.

A graduate of Batavia High School, she furthered her education at Genesee Community College and Brockport State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work.

She was a member of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Batavia .

In 1981, she moved to Silver Spring , Maryland where she met and married her husband. While living in Maryland , Mrs. Burriss held the positions of Legal Assistant at the National Association of Social Workers and eventually became the Administrative Assistant to Jeri Davis International Healthcare Consultants and Recruiters. While working for the College of Cardiology in 2001, she coordinated the Industry Alliance Awards Conference in Orlando , Fl., where President George W. Bush was the keynote speaker. Mrs. Burriss was a member for over 15 years and served as the Editor and Chief for the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society, Inc. in Washington , DC .

Surviving along with her father is her husband, Wayne Andrew Burriss of Silver Springs, MD, whom she married June 8, 1991; a step-son, Christian A. Burriss of Washington, DC; five sisters, Janet Dawson of Batavia, Freda Polk of Batavia, Wanda Polk of East Bethany, Ivy Taylor of Batavia and Brenda Polk of East Bethany; a brother, Albert Polk of Batavia; 7 nieces and nephews, Jessica Lynn Polk, Peggy Lee Polk, Leona Jean Polk, Quella Sylvia Marie Polk, Roy Lee Taylor, Timothy Edison Taylor and Derek James Taylor, all of Batavia; a grandniece, Alyssa Justine McKenzie of Batavia; two grandnephews, Michael Frederick McKenzie and Quentin Russell Polk, both of Batavia.

Friends may call on Saturday from 11 am to 12 pm at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church , 516 Ellicott Street , Batavia , where services will follow at 12 pm. Memorials may be made to American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD, 20852 or to Strong Memorial Hospital �s Nephrology Department, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624. Burial will be in Grand View Cemetery, Batavia.

Source: H. E. Turner & Company Funeral Homes

Posted by Staff on 11/03/06 at 8:51 am EST

6 Jul 2003 | 06 Nov 2006
Copyright © 2003-2006. All rights reserved.
AfriGeneas ~ African Ancestored Genealogy